• Kyodo


Japan will take the fight to Germany once again at the Pyeongchang Olympics on Thursday in the Nordic combined team event.

Since Akito Watabe succumbed to the Germans in both the normal hill and large hill individual events, coach Keizo Masaki will be counting on the foursome of Hideaki Nagai, Go Yamamoto and the Watabe brothers Akito and Yoshito to give Japan a medal in the team event, which it won in 1992 and 1994.

But Japan has not medaled in the competition since Lillehammer, and four years ago in Sochi, Japan was fifth out of nine teams.

“I hope we can be one of the top teams tomorrow,” Masaki said. “We’re going for a medal in this team event. Germany will be the ones to beat and hopefully we can give them a run for their money.

“The four from yesterday will not be easy to beat.”

Germany is looking to join Finland as the only nations to win three Nordic combined golds in one Olympics.

“We need to jump as well as we can and rack up as many points as we can, then try to run away with it,” Masaki said.

“The four I’ve picked have been jumping well here. If they are at their best, we should score a lot of points.”

The four skiers did not train Wednesday. Instead, they worked on recovering from Tuesday’s large hill 10-km event.

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